JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice: Nina Simone, Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter & More


The editors of JAZZIZ have the good fortune of being able to listen to new music before it’s officially released in stores and streaming platforms. And because we’re always listening to new tunes, we always know just what to recommend. That’s why we’ll bring you a roundup of ten songs each week, featuring music from our favorite new albums, singles and other tunes that may have flown under your radar.

Our playlist opens this week with Nina Simone’s stunning live version of “Mississippi Goddam” from the newly-discovered recording of the artist’s live performance at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival, released on Verve Records, set for release on July 21. Saxophonist Mekiel Reuben pays homage to a bygone era on “Just Like the Radio,” the title track from his new album, which derives inspiration from Archie Bell & The Drell’s “Tighten Up.” “Freeman Square” is the latest single from Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter’s upcoming SuperBlue album, The Iridescent Spree, which will be released on September 15.

“Side Effects” is one of eight new compositions from guitarist/composer Nic Vardanega’s new trio album, New Beginnings. “Thank You God!” is the first single from Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids‘ first studio album in over three years, Afro Futuristic Dreams, which will be released on September 22. Vocalist Chloé Jean teams up with guitarist Ray Obiedo to produce her debut album, Fairy Tale Fail, featuring a take on the classic, “Cry Me a River.” “Shimmer” is soul-jazz saxophonist Merlon Devine‘s rousing summer single, written with GRAMMY-nominated producer Darren Rahn.

“If It Was” is a song written by Alan Hampton and performed by Icelandic jazz vocal duo Silva & Steini, included on their debut album, More Than You Know. “Fidju di Lua” is a collaboration between Alfredo Rodriguez and Alana Sinkey, as well as the first single from the Miami-based pianist and bandleader’s upcoming album, Coral Way. Guitarist/composer Freddie Bryant reflects on the sad reality of homelessness on “His Bed Is a Box,” a single from his ambitious and socially-conscious double CD, Upper West Side Love Story. The album is described via a press release as “a complicated love letter to the home Bryant lived in for 54 years, from birth until 2019, when he moved to the Bronx.”

Listen to this week’s JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice Playlist via the player below.

Featured photo by Dave Stapleton.

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